Each week, we are contacted by numerous people requesting assistance with finding new
homes for their basset hounds. At this point, we've probably heard just about every reason
possible. There are a handful of "good" reasons and a mountain of "bad" reasons. Whatever
the reason, in most cases we are glad to help; however, it is important that we reach a
common understanding regarding some key issues:
1. Your dog is your responsibility - bottom line. Whether you bought him from a breeder, adopted
him from a shelter, took him in as a stray, or assumed his care after a friend or relative could no longer
provide for him, this is now your dog. He loves and trusts you, and this is going to be a traumatic event
for him no matter what any of us do to help. He is going to have a rough time understanding what is
happening to him, even if finding a new home really is the best decision in the long run. Even if you
can't keep him any more, your dog still depends on you to do what's best for him. Now, more than ever,
he needs you to make the right choices for his future. He deserves your best efforts.
2. If you don't want your dog to die, then keep him/her out of the shelter! Shelters and humane
societies were created to care for stray and abused animals. They weren't meant to be a drop-off for
people who don't want their pets anymore. Shelters, on average, take in 100 new animals or more
each day. FACT: THERE WILL NOT BE ENOUGH GOOD HOMES FOR ALL OF THEM! Even the best shelters
can't boast much more than a 50% adoption rate. Only the youngest, friendliest, cutest and best
behaved dogs are going to be adopted.
By law, stray pets must be kept several days for their owners to reclaim them. They may not be
destroyed until that period is up. Dogs given up by their owners aren't protected by these laws. They
may be destroyed at any time. Shelters don't want to kill all these animals but they don't have a choice.
There just isn't enough room for all of them. Shelters today are so overcrowded that your dog could be
killed the same day it arrives. Being purebred won't help your dog's chances of adoption either - almost
half of the dogs in many shelters are purebreds. Depending on the breed, some shelters will not put
them up for adoption at all. Your dog may be as good as dead when it walks in the door. If your dog is
old, has health problems or a poor attitude toward strangers, its chances of adoption are slim to none.
Often times a dog becomes so terrified in the chaotic, noisy environment of the shelter, he or she may
cower in fear in the cage, making it next to impossible for the dog to be adopted. Sending your dog to a
shelter in hopes that he'll find a good home is wishful thinking. It's more likely that you'll be signing
your dog's death warrant.
3. "No-Kill" shelters and breed rescues are services in high demand. In the Houston area, there are
no true "no-kill" shelters. Even the organizations you assume would not euthanize actually are forced
to do so in Houston due to the staggering number of homeless animals coming through their doors each
day. If you are seeking out a "no-kill" shelter, be sure you outright ask the shelters policies and do not
assume anything - it could mean the difference between life and death for your pet.
Breed rescue services are volunteer groups. Our financial support comes from public donations (we do
not receive "government funding" as some seem to believe). Our groups do not have paid employees -
we rely solely on kind volunteers donating their time and energy. Basically, we are regular folks, most
with full-time jobs, who have joined together to help keep our four-legged friends safe. Please
remember this when you are working with our volunteers.
Like most rescues, we are not based out of any particular locale/shelter. Instead our hounds reside in
numerous volunteer foster homes throughout the local area. Foster homes are always a limited
resource and are generally so short in supply that we are at a near-constant risk of having to turn
away hounds in shelters who are at risk of being euthanized. Due to this shortage, we just do not have
the resources to take in dogs from their owners and place them in foster homes. This is where you play
a key role in successfully adopting out your hound. Our rescue can advertise your dog, take
applications, and screen/interview potential adopters. We need you to continue to provide a safe home
for your basset until he/she is adopted. This should not be a great hardship and we feel that it is the
least you can do to help your hound make the transition into a new home. Although many of the
requests for assistance that we receive claim that the hound must be out of the home immediately,
true emergencies of this nature are few and far between. Most often they reflect impatience or poor
planning on the part of the owner (i.e. moving to a "no pets" apartment tomorrow but haven't
contacted anyone for help until now).
Owners with the maturity and responsibility to continue to provide for their pet will have the most
success adopting out their hound. Please do not contact us with threats that you will dump your dog at
a shelter if we do not take him or her today. This will not change the fact that our resources are
limited and threats only create tension between the parties. If you have a true emergency, then it is
very likely your dog will have to go to a shelter. Please contact us and we can help advise you as to
which might be the best options. It is also good to let us know where you will be taking the dog as we
may have a foster home open, allowing us to remove the dog from the shelter. Remember, however,
that this is not a certainty and any time you leave your dog at a shelter, you are putting him/her at a
substantial risk of being killed.
Please take a long, hard look at your reason for giving up your dog.
Now is the time for some real soul searching. Are you being forced to give up your dog or have you decided
to "get rid of him"? We are often told by owners that they are giving up the dog because he/she "deserves
more". This translates into that the family feels incapable of providing the time, energy, and/or love a pet
requires. Remember this is not your pet's fault - they had no say in coming to live with you. You are the
only family the hound knows and being sent away will be hard on the pet. There is not a perfect home
waiting in the wings to take your hound back to the mythical farm where he/she frolics and plays happily
for the rest of his/her life. Please let go of that fantasy right now. With some time and effort, a loving
family could be found for your pet but is that really necessary? Is there something else you can do to help
make your family and hound a better "fit"?
Common reasons for giving up a pet
* We are moving into a residence where pets are not allowed. There is housing in virtually every city
and town in the United States that will allow dogs. Affordable rental homes and apartments that allow
pets are out there - have you looked in the paper or contacted a realtor/broker for assistance? The
truth is that most people give up too easily or decide they want to live in a particular apartment that
won't take their pet. When taking this dog into your life, you made a commitment that you would love
and provide for it the rest of its life. Would you be so quick to move into housing that would not take
your children? Then why are you so quick to move where you can not take your dog?
* We don't have enough time for the dog. As a puppy, your dog required far more of your time and
attention than he does now. Are you really that busy? Will getting rid of your dog really make your life
less stressful? If the issue is that no one in the family is willing to take responsibility for caring for the
dog, does the problem really lie with the dog? The same goes for if the issue is the dog being alone too
much. While this at face value may sound like it has the animal's best interests in mind, ask yourself if
it is the dog who is unhappy or is it you who doesn't want to spend your limited amount of "free" time
taking care of him/her? Obviously neither of these issues are the dog's fault and you owe it to him/her
to either make some changes in your priorities or take the time to find a safe and loving home. These
are TERRIBLE reasons to dump him/her at a shelter where he/she will be euthanized for the
unpardonable sin of being a member of the wrong family. You will be killing the dog because you no
longer want the responsibility. Make sure this is the kind of person you want to be and the example you
want to set for the rest of your family.
* We are having a baby and need to get rid of our dog. Why??? This one continues to baffle me. Is
the argument that you will no longer have time to care for the dog? What will you do if you have a
second child - give away the first kid due to time constraints? Babies and dogs have co-existed in
countless homes - what makes your situation different? Some have reported they are concerned that
the infant will develop allergies. However, research has indicated that children growing up in homes
with animals are actually less likely to develop allergies than those who are not.
* We can't afford to care for our dog. What is the specific problem? Does your dog have health
problems that you are unable to adequately address due to limited finances? While our rescue group
cannot provide funds, we do have a list of resources where you may find assistance.
* We can't deal with the dog's behavior problem(s). If you got your dog as a puppy and he now has a
behavior problem you can't live with, you must accept the fact that your are at least partly responsible
for the way your dog is now. What have you done to help correct the problem? If your solution to this
problem is to find the dog a new home, please take a moment and give this a bit more consideration. If
you were looking for a dog and could select from all kinds of dogs and puppies, would you deliberately
choose one with a behavior problem? No, certainly not - and neither would anyone else. If your dog is
going to be adopted, you will need to take some action to fix his/her problems.
||Have you tried taking him/her to an obedience class? Most of the "chain" pet
(supply) stores and often the local SPCAs and Animal Welfare Leagues have
obedience classes for a very nominal fee. There is no such thing as a dog that
cannot be trained to be a well-behaved member of the household. Most canines
thrive when given basic obedience training. Dogs have been bred for thousands
of years to be a "help" to humans, therefore, it's only a matter of a few hours of
your time and a little money before your dog is the "good dog" you've always
wished for. Please give your dog the benefit of the doubt and take them through
a basic obedience class before you give up on them.
|This is a poor excuse for giving up a dog. A dog can certainly be house trained.
First, consider crate training. There are numerous books and articles on the
subject. This is not "mean" to the dog, as they are den animals by nature. Then
consider the dog. If you are having a problem with urination maybe you are
giving your dog free access to water at the wrong times or too much water. Are
you paying attention to the "timing" of accidents? If your dog drinks a cup of
water, then urinates in the house 30 minutes later, begin taking the dog out
after watering. Also remember, dogs have a much more acute sense of smell
than we humans. Perhaps you haven't gotten the doggie "scent" out of the floor
or carpet. All pet (supply) stores sell special odor killers that, used properly, are
both safe and effective. If you have questions about house training or crate
training contact a trainer or our rescue - we will be happy to help you through.
|All dogs chew. Whether they chew on the appropriate item is up to you. A puppy
must chew (as any baby cutting teeth must). It is up to you to provide the
appropriate item for that chewing. Your vet can recommend the best type of
chew items for your pup. An older dog can be trained to chew on the proper
items as well. Again, you must provide these items for your dog. Finally, crate
train your dog. If you allow the dog "free reign" of your home without
supervision you are asking for trouble. Most dogs are safer in a crate when you
are not at home.
|This is a tough one. Whether the dog is actually aggressive or not is a judgment
call that you, and only you, can make. Did the dog growl or snap without being
provoked? Were you attempting to take something from the dog? Did this
happen when food was involved? Was the dog protecting itself from unintended
abuse by a child? Ask yourself these questions. Please also seek the guidance of
professionals such as your veterinarian or local animal behaviorist.
If you can honestly say the incident was unprovoked and behavioral measures
are not effective, then you have very little choice but to take the animal to your
vet and have the dog euthanized. You can not, in good conscious, allow this dog
to be adopted by some other family where it could injure another human being
(especially a child). It is far more humane to make the arrangements with your
vet, take the dog to the vet, and allow the dog to end its life without the fear and
confusion "dumping" the dog at a pound will cause. This is the act of a loving,
caring, and responsible person.
So You've Decided You Must Give Up Your Basset Hound?
Here are the Options for Rehoming Your Hound
1. Take the dog to your county shelter or humane society. If you cannot keep your dog and must find it a
home *immediately*, then the shelter option is your only option. The shelter may try to find a home
through their adoption process, but keep in mind they are all very crowded and owner relinquished dogs are
often euthanized immediately. It is extremely important, therefore, to tell us which shelter you are taking
your dog to so that we may follow up on the dog if it becomes possible for us to help.
2. Advertise the dog in local papers and pet adoption websites. If your dog is young and healthy, this
may be the fastest way of finding a home. You should, however, screen prospective adopters to be sure
that their lifestyle and home environment is compatible with what your dog is accustomed to. For instance,
don't place your dog in a home where there are small children if your dog is shy or fearful of small children.
It is not a good idea to advertise "free to a good home." Even though you may not want compensation,
putting a price in the advertisement will insure a better class of responses. It can be very dangerous for
your dog to advertise him free to good home. He could end up in a research laboratory facility, a puppy mill
or worse, as dog fighting bait. Yes, that is where all these places look for dogs to use.
3. Continue to house your dog and proceed with adoption through Basset Buddies Rescue. You will be
required to provide proof of health information from your vet (see chart below), at which point we will add
your hound to our roster of adoptable bassets. We will ask you to provide photos and a description of your
hound in order for us to create a hound profile for potential adopters to peruse. You will be welcomed,
actually encouraged, to attend our adoption events where potential adopters stop by to meet our available
hounds. Applications to adopt will be received and reviewed by our rescue and you will be notified if a
suitable adopter is found. At that point, you will make arrangements to meet with the interested party at
your convenience to see if the adopter and hound are a good "fit" for one another. If for any reason you do
not feel the adopter is appropriate, you may refuse to adopt out the hound to that person. As you will be
adopting through our rescue, you will need to sign a contract which indicates that you are relinquishing
ownership of the hound to our rescue.
If you are interested in adopting out your basset hound through our rescue, please
contact us via e-mail at:
|Help Us, Help You
What We Will Need from You to Add Your
Hound to Our Roster
* Vet records
This must include proof of spay or neuter, negative
heartworm test within the last 6 months, records of
current vaccinations (which must be up-to-date).
* No history of unprovoked aggression toward
* Photos and a description of your hound for
his/her adoptable hound profile